Thousands of cruise ship workers trapped at sea due to virus problems

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Editor’s note: A previous title for this story has been corrected to clarify that thousands of cruise ship workers have been affected, not thousands of Americans.


So far, the coronavirus has almost sunk America $ 50 billion a year in the cruise industry. By order of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American cruise ships are go nowhere for the next three months, leaving thousands of workers stranded at sea.

At least nine American crew members on the cruise ship Holland America Oosterdam were prevented by the CDC from leaving Los Angeles on Tuesday.

They are among at least 132 other Americans stranded on cruise ships owned by Carnival Cruise Line companies.

Ryan Driscoll is an artist on one of these ships, currently an island in the coronavirus storm. It was essentially grounded at sea for more than 60 days.

The passengers alighted on March 13 and he was quarantined for weeks – only allowed to leave his room for meals and temperature checks.

“The fact that they won’t let us go is extremely frustrating, irritating, especially for ships that have only crew members who have been quarantined for more than 14 days and have no cases COVID-19, “he told CBS News. “We’re just stuck here. Sometimes it feels like a prison … I want to go home. I want to see my family. “

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Holland America’s Oosterdam cruise ship seen docked in Los Angeles on Tuesday April 28, 2020.

CBS Los Angeles

The Coast Guard monitors 120 cruise ships in American waters with approximately 80,000 crew members. The total number of Americans on board is unknown.

They cannot disembark because of the order of the CDC. It prohibits cruise ship workers from staying in a hotel, using public transportation, taking a flight on a commercial airline, or interacting with the public for 14 days upon arrival ashore. It does not matter how long they are quarantined on board.

Dan Domenich is stuck on another ship.

“We are on a ship with 1,300 other crew members of 60 different nationalities, and our nation is the one that won’t let us return to the country. And it’s embarrassing, “he said.

It is extremely unusual for American citizens to be denied entry to the United States. The State Department said they were working to bring people home. Holland America said it continues to work with the CDC to resolve issues related to the disembarkation of American citizens under the sailing ban.

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